From ABC News:
Both sides committed war crimes in Libya: UN
An injured member of Gaddafi's forces is paraded through Benghazi after his capture. (AFP : Patrick Baz )
A UN panel has accused Libyan leader Moamar Gaddafi's regime of carrying out systematic attacks on the population, saying it committed not only war crimes but also crimes against humanity.
While it found fewer reports of violations by the opposition, the commission of inquiry set up by the UN Human Rights Council also found rebel forces committed acts that constituted war crimes.
"In accordance with its mandate to look also at crimes committed in Libya, the commission has ... reached the conclusion that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed by the government forces of Libya," said the commission in a statement.
"The commission received fewer reports of facts which would amount to the commission of international crimes by opposition forces, however did find some acts which would constitute war crimes," it added.
The 47-member UN Human Rights Council set up the investigation into suspected crimes against humanity in February after Mr Gaddafi's regime dispatched Libya's army and air force to fire on civilians.
The team found evidence suggesting Mr Gaddafi's forces "used excessive force against demonstrators, at least in the early days of the protests, leading to significant deaths and injuries."
In addition, the regime impeded access to hospitals, as well as carried out arbitrary detentions and torture.
"The commission has found that there have been acts ... that were committed by government forces as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population with knowledge of the attack," the panel said.
"Such acts fall within the meaning of 'crimes against humanity'."
While it had received fewer reports of violations by opposition forces, the panel nevertheless found that some acts of torture carried out on people in detention, migrant workers and others believed to be mercenaries, constitute war crimes.
Led by former UN war crimes investigator Cherif Bassiouni of Egypt, the panel of investigators also includes Jordanian lawyer Asma Khader and Canadian Philippe Kirsch, a former judge and president of the International Criminal Court.
During its probe, it travelled to Libya and met with more than 350 people, including detainees in Libya and others who had been displaced.
It also studied more than 5,000 pages of documents, more than 580 videos and more than 2,200 photographs.
Meanwhile, Libya's top oil official became the latest leading figure to desert Mr Gaddafi's regime, complaining of "unbearable" violence and adding political momentum to a revolt against the leader's long rule.
The defection by National Oil Corp head Shokri Ghanem, who is also a former prime minister, came two days after the defections of eight army officers including five generals and those in earlier weeks of senior diplomats and former ministers.
"I left the country and decided also to leave my job and to join the choice of Libyan youth to create a modern constitutional state respecting human rights and building a better future for all Libyans," he said.
Speaking at a news conference in Rome organised by the Libyan ambassador, who has also defected, Mr Ghanem said he had left his job because of the "unbearable" violence in Libya.
"I have been working in Libya for so many years believing that we can make a lot of reform from within. Unfortunately this became not possible, especially now, when we see the spilling of blood every day in Libya, our best youth and our best men getting killed."
In rebel-held eastern Libya, an explosion damaged two cars outside Benghazi's Tibesti hotel, a building that has been used in the past for news conferences by the rebels seeking to topple Mr Gaddafi, Arab television stations reported. There was no immediate word of what caused the blast, or of any injuries.